New Clinton Dining Hall Open for Business
Choices — it’s what’s for dinner, and breakfast, and lunch at the new and improved Clinton Dining Hall.
An $8 million rehab has resulted in multiple food stations throughout the space, including made-to-order pasta, grill, deli and specialty-grill items. A massive salad, soup, fruit and yogurt bar, self-serve areas with pizza, comfort food and ethnic foods, and more are also part of the mix.
“I like the sandwich station,” said Dana Wall, a sophomore accounting major from Ronkonkoma, Long Island. “Before you could only get sandwiches during lunch, but now you can get them anytime. That’s really nice.”
Diners present their ID cards at the entrance and either select from the self-serve areas or go to order kiosks where they select from the made-to-order stations. Receipts tell them their order numbers. Cooks behind the counters prepare plates and present the numbered items as they’re ready.
The kiosk ordering, customizable entrees, allergen-free stations with menu items free of eight primary allergens plus gluten, and expanded vegan selections are all new or improved, said Wayne Duprey, executive director of College Auxiliary Services, which oversees campus dining.
Focus Groups Weighed In
Duprey said a kitchen designer spent several days on campus during the design phase having discussions with students, met with focus groups and did a survey of students’ needs and wants, he said. The result is a dining experience students have said is a great campus benefit. “They have better options,” said Sydney Dethomasis, a sophomore human development and family relationships major from Albany.
Brittany Savarese, a sophomore general education pre-major from Miller Place, Long Island, praised the pasta station.
“It’s really, really good,” she said.
The project, for which CAS paid $5 million from a combination of savings and debt service, with the remainder coming from the college for updating the mechanicals and electrical work, was started in May 2017. It wrapped up in time for the start of the fall 2018 semester.
‘So Much Nicer’
Seating was made to create “more of a restaurant experience,” Duprey said, including sofa groupings around a gas fireplace, sections of booths near television screens and high top tables scattered about the regular dining tables. Counters with power outlets allow students to dine while working on their devices.
“It looks so much nicer,” said Shannon Devlin, sophomore general education pre-major from Islip Terrace, Long Island.
The last overhaul of Clinton was in 2000.
Open only since Aug. 27, there are even more improvements that are in the works, Duprey said.
“Staff and students have adapted well to the kiosk system, although it is a work in progress,” Duprey said. For instance, the customization options will expand, “enabling diners to enjoy menu selections made to their ingredient preference.”
So far, the traditional grill and Mongolian Grill — more specialized grill options — are the favorites, Duprey said.
Open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Clinton Dining Hall — like all campus dining facilities — is open to the public at a fixed price per meal of $7.70 for breakfast, $9.80 for lunch, and $12.25 for dinner.
Little Al’s, the popular take-out station in Algonquin Hall, remains open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For information on Clinton Dining Hall or any of the dining facilities on campus, visit https://www.plattsburgh.edu/plattslife/food-dining/index.html or call College Auxiliary Services at 518-564-2035.